X Claims Increases in Users and Engagement

X has shared some new usage stats, as it looks to spark more interest from advertisers moving into the second half of the year.

And despite various reports to the contrary, X claims that it is seeing user growth, at least on a monthly basis.

X usage update

According to X’s latest data:

  • 570 million people are now logging into X every month, an increase of 6% year-over-year
  • X is seeing 361.9 billion daily user seconds in cumulative time
  • Video views in the app are up 45% to 8.2 billion per day

So again, despite reports that X usage is stalling, it is, apparently, seeing increases in interest.

In some ways at least.

What X hasn’t reported is daily active users, which, at last check, were at 250 million, where it’s been stuck since November 2022.

So presumably, there’s been no growth in daily actives, but 570 million monthly users is an increase from the 550 million it reported back in March. That means that X has seemingly added 70 million monthly actives since October last year, which is a significant amount, even if its daily usage isn’t expanding.

Though it’s also not 600 million, which Musk claimed back in May.

But what doesn’t add up here is the “daily user seconds” stat, which is a weird data point to showcase either way.

And the numbers also don’t match up to X’s previously reported figures.

361.9 billion cumulative user seconds equals 6.03 billion total minutes per day, which is significantly lower than the 8 billion daily active user minutes that X reported in March.

That also equates to 24 minutes per day, per user in the app, which is also way less than the 30 minutes per day that X claimed just three months back.

It’s discrepancies like this that make it hard to take X’s data seriously, because it conflates, contradicts, or seemingly omits elements in order to present a better picture, when the breakdowns just don’t match up.

If these latest figures are right, that would suggest that X has actually seen a significant decline in engagement within the last quarter, even with an increase in monthly active users.

Could that mean that more people are checking on X, but fewer of them are sticking around? Is that a good sign for advertisers?

The video views stat here is also questionable.

Why? Because back in 2020, Twitter reported that it was seeing 2 billion videos views per day, which, at that time, represented a 62% YoY video consumption increase. To reach 8 billion or more, in just three years, it essentially would’ve had to double that amount, then add that same amount again every year, which seems unrealistic. Twitter also reported that it was seeing 3.5b video views per day in 2022, so it was still 4.5b off this figure just two years back.

Yet, somehow, despite adding no daily active users, and just 70 million monthly actives, who may or may not be using the app less, it’s more than doubled video views?

Another consideration could be that X has also been combining its post impression and video view counts, which may be skewing this data point. We don’t know the details, because X hasn’t shared average view times or another qualifying data point. But the figures don’t seem to add up.

This is, again, what makes it hard to assess X based on what it reports, because owner Elon Musk also keeps touting things like this:

X has been the number one “News” app since 2016, when former Twitter management switched it to the “News” category, as opposed to “Social Media”, because it was struggling to compete with Meta’s apps, leading to negative comparison (and shareholder pressure).

It’s not a “News” app, and in fact, it can’t be listed as such in the Google Play store because it’s reliant on user-generated content, but Musk keeps repeating this claim, that “mainstream” or “legacy” news publishers hate X because it’s competing with them in the “News” category.

It’s not, and even if it was, it’s been leading in this segment for almost a decade, so it’s nothing new.  

It’s misleading, deceptive, and unfortunately, it’s claims like this that taint the data shared by X, prompting further questions about its figures.

So is X going well? I don’t know, but I don’t think that these new data points are going to do much to reassure anybody.